Hydration: Are you drinking enough water?

16 May 2018
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

‘You don’t drink enough water’ is one of those annoying things people say nowadays. And it’s annoying because they’re probably right. Some 89% of people in the UK don’t drink enough water. And that’s bad.

You’re 114% more likely to make a mistake when you’re dehydrated.

You only need to lose 1% of your body’s water content for your brain and mood to suffer. You’re 114% more likely to make a mistake when you’re dehydrated. So don’t let dehydration damage your assignments and exam revision.

Here are 8 signs you might not be drinking enough water:

  1. Dry-mouth and lips. Which feels unpleasant, and can cause bad breath.
  2. Headaches. The scientists aren’t sure why, but a sore head is a telltale sign.
  3. Muscle cramps. Low fluid levels can cause those sleep-disrupting spasms.
  4. Constant tiredness. Or confusion, dizziness, and even unexplained anger.
  5. Dry eyes. Bloodshot, itchy, uncomfortable eyes can be a sign you need a drink.
  6. Hungry, again. Your body might be confusing hunger with thirst. Try water first.
  7. Weeing less. You should urinate four to seven times a day, if you’re hydrated.
  8. Dark wee. Light yellow is good. Dark yellow or orangey-brown? Not good at all.
  9. Dry or inelastic skin. Pinch the back of your hand. It should bounce back right away.

Feeling any of this? You don’t need rocket scientists to tell you the answer. Drink your two litres of water every day.

5 Easy ways to drink more water

1) Get a bottle

HYDRATE, feel great! Do what the slogan says on this clever hydration tracking water bottle. Simply drink down to each hour marker throughout the day. Two bottles a day will keep you properly hydrated. £5 from Matalan.

2) Get an app

There are loads of free water tracking apps. On Android, try the beautifully-designed Gulp. If you’ve got an iPhone, give Daily Water Tracker Reminder a go.

3) Get your 5-a-day

60% of you is water. But some fruits are more than 90%. Strawberries, watermelon and pink grapefruit are a great way to start your day. On the veg front: cucumber, lettuce, courgette, celery, broccoli, peppers, and spinach are all at least 90% water.

4) Get squash

Hate the way water tastes? Add squash to make it bearable. Take it easy though, the aim is better hydration, not rotting your teeth. Make it weak, and stick to no added sugar or organic brands - like Rocks or Bottlegreen.

5) Get habitual

A vital part of trying to do something new, routinely, is hooking it onto an existing behaviour. Try reaching for the bottle every time you come back from the loo. Drink, wee. Drink, wee. Repeat.

Need more motivation? Get a colour chart

One Texas-based sports coach was so obsessive about his players’ drinking habits, he installed motivational urine colour charts in the toilets. He made hydration a team sport.

You’re 114% more likely to make a mistake when you’re dehydrated.
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Staff writer at The Common Room